Home Learning Program
Home Learning Program Goals
We believe our Home Learning Program at Concordia Hanoi is second-to-none. Our program reflects our commitment to every child and family as well as to the following five goals:
Concordia International School Hanoi’s customized Home Learning Program keeps students engaged.
Developed by Concordia’s team of professional educators, our program strives to balance its rigorous academic curriculum with the social and emotional needs of home life.
Concordia ensures student Home Learning outcomes are carefully monitored by teachers. Concordia offers a predominantly synchronous Home Learning program, as we believe it best supports the learners’ academic growth, social and emotional development, and personal well-being.
Our distinguisher, and what sets our program apart is that our system is primarily synchronous and is designed to increase the amount of teacher student contact time. Parents can receive feedback regarding their child’s academic performance and progress. Concordia uses regular parent surveys, Town Hall meetings, Back to School Nights and teacher’s office hours to partner on behalf of student success.
One of the reasons why our program is so strong and successful is because we incorporate parent and student feedback to continually enhance the program.
Our program quickly facilitates a seamless transition back to campus learning once it becomes possible.
As we work together to build and support our community, the following information is a resource for students and families to take the best advantage of our Home Learning program, and the standards and principles guiding our work together.
What is home learning?
- Synchronous learning: Students and teachers working together at the same time in real time.
- Asynchronous learning: Students working at their own pace, not all at the same time and without the teacher providing instruction in real time, often via pre-recorded video.
- Campus Learning Program: The regular Concordia International School Hanoi educational program, which offers face-to-face learning and events at the Concordia campus.
- Home Learning Program: The Home Learning program is a primarily synchronous learning program utilizing Zoom video conferencing and other digital platforms for classroom management. The program is only engaged when the conditions in Vietnam or Hanoi prohibit campus learning.
- Distance Learning: Learning where the instructor and students are in physically separate locations, and instruction is delivered via an electronic device, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone. The learning can be synchronous, in which all participants are connected at the same time, or asynchronous, when participants are engaged in learning activities at different times.
- eLearning: Short for electronic learning, a comprehensive term that refers to all types of training, education and instruction that occurs via a digital medium.
- What is home learning?
- What is the role of the Concordia teacher to support Home Learning?
- What is the role of the Student in Home Learning?
- General Elementary School Home Learning Guidelines
- Specials Schedule for Elementary Home Learning
When the government of Hanoi forbids the meeting of students on campus, Concordia offers a learning program that takes place in the child’s home called Home Learning. Home learning is a partnership between parents and the teachers to provide educational experiences during the school week, relying heavily on digital technology.
Home Learning DOES NOT look or feel the same as on-campus learning.
- Plan the lessons for the students.
- Communicate the lessons to the parents and students.
- Start and end the day with whole-class meetings to address community building and social skills.
- Meet with small groups of students by appointment.
- Preschool only - Meet weekly with parents (translation provided) to give guidance on the preschool program.
- Provide age/grade level appropriate feedback to parents and students.
- Try your best! Do your classwork and homework on time.
- Ask for help when you need it!
- Use technology responsibly - follow the school rules for technology, even at home. Use technology ONLY as a tool for learning during the school day.
- Be kind to all Concordia community members, whether in person or online.
Advance Preparation for Families
- Each home should have high-speed broadband internet access.
- Students have access to a device that can access the internet for lessons, which includes a web camera capable of taking still photos and videos, a microphone, and a keyboard (grades 1 and above).
- Students have headphones, preferably with a microphone.
- Students have a quiet place in the home to attend classes which allows for passive adult supervision.
- Students have a designated area of the home to organize learning materials (books, papers, etc.) as well as a writing surface to complete written work (such as a table or a desk).
Student Synchronous Learning Guidelines
- Parents and students should check their email often during home learning.
- Concordia uses the Zoom platform for synchronous learning.
- You must use your concordiahanoi.org email address to log on to the zoom account. You must use your name on the zoom account and should not change your account name. Unless directed to do so by your teacher, students are not to change the virtual background as this has been found to decrease internet speed.
- You must keep meeting IDs and passwords confidential and not share them with others not invited to the meeting.
- Treat this experience as if you were attending school.
- Go to class early, meaning log on at least 5 minutes in advance. Get yourself settled.
- Dress code is like our free dress days. Uniforms are not required, but no pajamas please.
- Sit in an appropriate place, like at a desk or table. Do not lie in bed, etc…
- Sit in a quiet place. Pets and people walking behind you or making noise in the background is distracting both to you and to those on the video chat with you.
- If you want to talk in the video conference, raise your hand or type in the chat.
- Do not annotate the screen unless directed by the teacher to do so.
- Be positive and make the most of the opportunities that you will experience. There is a good chance you will take an online course at some point in your future in higher education.
Getting Ready to Learn
- If the situation that necessitates Home Learning allows, parents will be informed of a safe time to visit campus to pick up learning materials for Home Learning. If the campus is closed to visitors for safety, then the school will deliver books and materials to the students’ homes.
- Teachers will communicate with parents and students any passwords that the children might need to access any of Concordia’s online learning platforms.
- Depending on when Home Learning is put into effect, children may need help from their parents to access and/or download programs to the child’s home device. This would include installing zoom and setting up bookmarks for commonly used websites such as IXL, SeeSaw, etc.
- Preschool Parents will need to attend a meeting with the teacher via zoom to go over the unique Preschool Home Learning program.
Starting the day together-Morning Meeting
It is important that children be awake, dressed, and have finished their breakfast before Morning Meeting each morning.
Morning meeting begins at 8:00am each morning, Monday through Friday. The main purpose of the morning meeting is to provide opportunities for social connection and to receive instructions for the day. Depending on the age of the student, the morning meeting may be short (for example 5-15 minutes in preschool) or may take longer.
Teachers communicate instructions with links to Google Slides for the assignments in advance. These slide presentations contain all of the necessary links to watch tutorial videos and to complete the assignments for the day.
For children in Preschool and Reception, we ask that an older sibling/relative (10+ years old) or other adult sit with the child during the morning learning session to assist with technology and to help the child to focus during the lessons and activities, as well as to play the interactive learning games with the child.
Learning Content-Synchronous Instruction
For students in Preschool and Reception, the amount of time students spend in front of the screen is reduced to match their age level.
In Preschool, the morning meeting begins at 8:00am and the teacher will host story time and guided games as attention allows. Children will also have a synchronous specialist teacher (Art, Music, PE, Guidance, Library) lesson at 10:00am. The rest of the program content is available for parents to teach their children asynchronously - or at a time that is convenient for the family. Students will not log in again at the end of the day.
In Reception, synchronous content is mostly delivered in the morning - with an optional class and closing activity at the end of the day.
Students in Preschool and Reception will receive delivery of learning materials with instructions for the week.
For students in Grade 1 through Grade 5, teachers provide synchronous instruction from 8:00am-11:30am each morning, including morning meeting.
This may include any of the following subject areas on a given day: Reading, Writing, Word Study, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, PE, Music, Guidance, Library, or special events. Not every subject will be taught each day.
During this time, teachers will build in breaks for movement, water, snack, using the restroom, etc.
Teachers will include a 30 minute snack/play break during a portion of this time.
Student learning will vary in what it looks like. Students might sometimes be listening to a lesson, while at other times they might be engaging in a discussion in a break-out room, or even working quietly while the teacher, co-teacher, or a teaching assistant watches to provide support.
Art is taught asynchronously. The homeroom teacher will direct students to the content provided by the Art teacher. Completed work should be posted to SeeSaw. The Art teacher will offer feedback on completed pieces.
Music, Guidance, and STEM
Music, Guidance, and STEM are taught in homeroom groups for 20-30 minutes, depending on age level.
PE and Library
PE and Library are taught in grade level groups for 20-30 minutes, depending on age level. PS and Reception classes are taught in smaller homeroom groups.
Specials Schedule for Elementary Home Learning
Lunch and Personal Growth
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
There is a break from 11:30 to 1:00 each day for lunch and a rest. This is a great time for parents to encourage children to build their personal responsibility habits by helping with cooking, dishes, putting away their toys, and other small age-appropriate chores. If quarantine conditions allow, it would be beneficial for students to get at least 10 minutes of sunlight exposure to build vitamin D reserves for immune health.
PS classes do not meet for the rest of the day.
Reception students may be invited to join small group meetings during this time. Teachers may also schedule parent meetings during this time of the day.
G1-G3 have small group activities and guided study hall/homework help
G4 has Modern Language & EAL
G5 has small group activities and classes
2:00 - 2:45p.m.
Reception-G4 has small group activities, guided study/play/PE
Students in Reception class who are still building stamina for afternoon classes can be excused from attending the afternoon session. Please talk with your child’s homeroom teacher if they need more rest time.
G5 has Modern Language & EAL
Ending the Day Together & Homework
All students in Reception-grade 5 need to log back in to their zoom classroom from 2:45-3:00 to end the school day together. This provides closure to the school day for social emotional benefit and allows for questions about assignments. After 3:00, students should have no more than 30-60 minutes of homework to complete for the next day. This includes the nightly reading assignment of 30 minutes.
- Home Learning Philosophy & Structure
- Home Learning Goals
- Home Learning Timetable
- Expectations for Students during Home Learning
- Home Learning Assessment, Grading, & Reporting
- Frequently Asked Questions about Home Learning
Concordia is a day school that aims to provide our students with a well-rounded and exceptional educational experience. We emphasize our students’ academic growth, the growth of their communication and social skills, and the development of their characters. This is at the heart of everything that we do at our middle school.
If we cannot meet on campus, we will offer the Middle School Home Learning Program. We ask students to be positive and make the most of the opportunities that they will experience. There is a good chance students will take an online course at some point in their future in higher education.
At Concordia, the two programs we have in place to ensure students have a fantastic experience are our Campus Learning Program and our Home Learning Program.
- Our Campus Learning Program is our regular educational program, which occurs on campus and face-to-face. This is the program that you know and with which you are already familiar, and this is the program that our school believes is best for student learning and well-being.
- When it is required or appropriate, we move to our Home Learning Program. This program occurs online, and the majority of classes and educational experiences are synchronous. Essential physical materials are sent home when government regulations permit this, and most classes occur live utilizing video conferencing interfaces. This allows students to learn effectively from their homes. Students are able to fully participate in many typical aspects of classroom instructions (e.g., see and hear classmates and teachers, participate in large and small group discussions, and more).
We are proud to present the middle school’s home learning timetable - click here - that we will be using to start the 2021-22 school year. We expect students to be seated at their desks at home at 8:05 AM and to be in the waiting room for their first classes at 8:10 AM.
This new timetable is significantly different from the one previously used for home learning. It is also different from the timetable used when we are on campus. The home learning timetable was carefully designed using input from student representatives, parent representatives, and educators. This timetable demonstrates our commitment to ensuring students learn at high levels, develop strong relationships with their teachers and peers, are emotionally and physically healthy, and are individually supported.
Here are some of the features of our new timetable that we are most proud of:
- Academic Classes Every Day. Core academic classes will be taught every day during Home Learning, and each meeting of these core academic classes is 75 minutes long.
- Electives, Specials, & Activities. During home learning, we continue to offer elective courses, special courses (e.g., art, music, coding, Spanish, Mandarin, English as an Additional Language, etc.), and after-school activities (ASAs). The selection of after-school activities will naturally be more limited when we are offering our Home Learning Program than when we offer our Campus Learning Program.
- Advisory. During home learning, students meet with their Advisory teachers and peers every other day instead of twice a week. This allows us to better support all students.
- Relationships & Community. In middle school, it is essential to help students learn to build and maintain healthy friendships. During home learning, Community Building blocks are built into our timetable to help ensure students feel connected. During Community Building blocks, students participate in important community conversations, are honored with awards, celebrate birthdays and special occasions, hear from guest speakers, engage in friendly competition, exercise together, and have FUN! All students are required to attend Community Building unless the Middle School Principal indicates otherwise.
- Movement & Well-Being. As we all know, it is not easy (or healthy) to spend long periods of time sitting in front of our laptops. During home learning, synchronous classes incorporate both “on screen” and “off screen” learning activities. Our timetable builds in 10-minute stretch breaks, a 20-minute mid-morning stretch and snack break, and a 40-minute lunch block that is aligned to the high school’s lunch block. Every middle school student also has physical education class at least every other day.
- Teacher Help & Personalized Support. We know each student is unique. Time is built into the timetable for students to receive support from their teachers either one-to-one or in small groups. During Teacher Help blocks, students may request meetings with teachers, drop in to ask for help on an informal basis, or may be required by teachers to attend. Teacher Help blocks are intended for students and not for parents. Parents are always welcome to email teachers to request and arrange meetings.
- Expectations for Students AT ALL TIMES
a. Be Your Best. Act as if you were attending school on campus.
b. Be Punctual. Log into every class at least 5 minutes early.
c. Be Professional. Follow dress code for free dress days – no pajamas.
d. Be Visible. Have camera on at all times, and ensure entire face is visible.
e. Be Alert. Sit at desk or table. Do not lie in bed.
f. Be Focused. Sit in quiet place, use headphones, and ask g. others not to walk past or make noise.
h. Be You. Use school picture as Zoom profile photo. On Zoom, use full name with nickname in parentheses – e.g., “Thomas (Tommy) Smith”
Be Kind. Be responsible, be respectful, be polite. Ask people, “How are you today?”
i. Be Thankful. Thank your teachers every day.
- Expectations for Students for CLASS
a. Breakouts. When in breakouts, do your best work and show respect to all students.
b. Common Language. While working in class, use English so all students are included.
c. Chat. Use Zoom chat as directed by the teacher. No off-topic messages.
d. No Distractions. Don’t have other tabs open, and don’t use other devices.
e. Asking to Speak. If you want to talk, use Zoom to raise your hand or type in chat.
- Expectations for Students in ADVISORY
a. Unmute. Cameras on and mics unmuted. Conversation should be free flowing.
b. Ask for Help. This is the time to ask for help and to voice concerns.
c. Reach Out Using Email. Send an email to your advisor if you still need to talk.
d. Be Kind. Be extra thoughtful about being kind to your peers in Advisory.
- Expectations for Students in COMMUNITY BUILDING
a. Participate. Attendance is required during Community Building blocks unless the Principal says otherwise.
b. Keep Cameras On. Have cameras on at all times, and ensure your entire face is visible.
c. Be Kind. Be extra thoughtful about being kind to new people you meet.
For our home learning program we ask students to treat the experience as if they were attending school. Students are expected to go to class early, meaning they log on at least 5 minutes in advance. While students are not required to wear uniforms at home, the dress code is like our free dress days. No pajamas please. We ask students to sit in an appropriate place, like at a desk or table. Do not lie in bed. Sit in a quiet place. Pets and people walking behind students or making noise in the background is distracting to the class. The Home Learning Program provides opportunities for students to develop other types of study skills and life skills.
While teachers play an essential role in home learning, our support staff also play key roles in making this a successful experience. The principal is responsible for coordinating the home learning schedule and providing frequent and timely information about home learning as well as potential changes to the schedule. If students are having trouble with technology, our tech team is on hand to support students with computer or internet issues. Our secretary and liaisons are on hand to support questions or concerns that require language translation. Our counselors provide social/emotional support to students as well as develop students’ academic and organizational skills in a home learning environment.
During times that the school may be closed but the city is not in a “lockdown” situation, Concordia will invite small groups of students and parents on campus to receive support and get additional materials. During a “lockdown” situation, Concordia’s campus will be closed to both students and staff.
During home learning, we do our best to continue to follow the assessment principles, policies, and practices that are in place when we are on campus.
Having said that, because of the limitations associated with learning at home, we adapt some aspects of our approach in order to maximize students’ learning. For example, paper-and-pencil timed assessments can be useful when students are on campus and supervised by their teachers. However, such assessments are less useful while online. During home learning, teachers will emphasize formative assessment and will make greater use of performance assessments (e.g., presentations, interviews, projects, etc.) than might be typically while on campus.
In the event that Concordia has to implement its Home Learning Program for any period of time, the principal will attach a letter to students’ report cards explaining how long the Home Learning Program was in place. If home learning must occur for more than half of a semester (i.e., more than 9 weeks), the following grading and reporting options will be available to middle school students:
- As a default, middle school students will receive normal report cards with A-F grades for core classes and E/S/N grades for elective courses and modern language classes. These report cards are identical to the report cards issued when we are on campus.
- Middle school students may choose to receive a report card in which all grades are Pass/Fail (P/F). A parent or guardian must request this by writing to the Middle School Principal and Middle School Counselor at least one full week before the end of the semester. Students are not penalized for choosing the Pass/Fail option.
- What should I do if I am away from Hanoi right now or am considering temporarily leaving Hanoi?
Out of care for students, please note that we expect that all Concordia families who are outside of Hanoi will make a good faith effort to return to Hanoi immediately or as soon as possible.
If you are having difficulty returning to Hanoi, will arrive late to Hanoi, expect to still be serving quarantine past the start of the school year on August 24, or think you may need to leave Hanoi temporarily to attend to an urgent matter, please contact your divisional principal and copy the divisional secretary. We recognize how difficult these situations can be for families. Please share as much information about your situation with your divisional principal and secretary as you are able, and we will work to provide you with as much guidance as we can.
- Who can participate in Concordia’s Home Learning Program if it is offered?
We are beginning the year online with our Home Learning Program. If you are away from Hanoi, you are welcome to participate in synchronous classes. Please bear in mind that we may not be able to provide you with physical course materials that we can provide to students in Hanoi. Additionally, if at any time we are able to return to our in-person Campus Learning Program, the school’s expectation is that families will look to transition quickly back to Hanoi and that students will be ready to rejoin classes on campus within one month.
During this one-month period, the school will be able to provide limited Transition Support as students return to Hanoi and serve any required quarantines. As our focus will then be on providing outstanding in-person instruction and support, please note that this Transition Support will not be as comprehensive as our Home Learning Program. There will be no synchronous video conferencing, or streamed or recorded classes. We will be able to provide online access to some course materials, and students and families will be able to correspond outside of class hours with teachers. We encourage you to contact your divisional principal for more details about what Transition Support looks like at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
- What happens if we begin the year with our Home Learning Program but are later allowed to return to campus?
We are beginning the year online with our Home Learning Program, and we will closely monitor government guidance to determine when we are able to return to campus. When a return to campus is safe and permitted by the government, we will move swiftly to return to our Campus Learning Program.
So that we can continue to provide excellent in-person instruction and support to students, we will discontinue our Home Learning Program when we return to our Campus Learning Program. We will not be operating both the Campus Learning Program and the Home Learning Program at the same time.
The Concordia Hanoi HS Home Learning Program is designed to facilitate the same quality of college preparatory education that our regular learning programs provide.
The majority of classes and interactions students experience are synchronous. This means that they are conducted live utilizing a live video conferencing interface from the convenience of a student’s home. In the live classes students are able to fully participate (see and hear your classmates and teacher, participate in large and small group discussions, and more) in all aspects of class, just as if they were meeting in a classroom on campus.
Several of the classes and interactions students experience are asynchronous. Asynchronous learning means that the teacher provides learning materials and experiences without real-time interactions. Students receive materials and clear directions and expectations for their asynchronous experiences.
The daily schedule for the Home Learning Program follows our regular bell schedule with 90 minute blocks and an A and B two day cycle. Teachers are expected to provide 65 minutes of direct instruction and interaction for students. The remainder of the block can be for student work or for individual meetings between students and teachers. Teachers are asked to allow homework to be done during these times and to monitor the amount of work students are engaged in each day.
The weekly schedule for the Home Learning Program is Monday to Friday ABABA or BABAB, with either two or three days A or days B per week. However, during the home learning program we recognize that the length of time spent engaged in using videoconferencing is more intense than a regular on campus experience. To start off the year we will be running our regular class days for days per week. Depending on the length of time, we may elect to insert a work day where Monday and Thursday are Days A, Tuesday and Friday are Days B, and Wednesday is a work day and an AP study session day. Wednesday is not a day off. Instead, Wednesdays are used for teachers to meet with students, for students to engage in group work, or for teachers of AP classes to hold additional study sessions to support the rigor of AP classes. This model is a possibility depending on our assessment of the community.
For our home learning program we ask students to treat the experience as if they were attending school. Students are expected to go to class early, meaning they log on at least 5 minutes in advance. While students are not required to wear uniforms at home, the dress code is like our free dress days. No pajamas please. We ask students to sit in an appropriate place, like at a desk or table. Do not lie in bed. Sit in a quiet place. Pets and people walking behind students or making noise in the background is distracting to the class. The Home Learning Program provides opportunities for students to develop other types of study skills and life skills. We ask students to be positive and make the most of the opportunities that they will experience. There is a good chance students will take an online course at some point in their future in higher education.
In addition, the HS Home Learning Program utilizes a variety of virtual strategies to maintain the school community. The HS Student Portal on the Concordia Hanoi website is a primary channel for the school to engage with students, share information, and provide direction. Within the student portal, the counseling program provides information about the university preparation process, social and emotional support, and helpful material for students and parents.
Concordia teachers will design the curriculum for the distance learner and will conduct either synchronous classes on our bell schedule, or post daily lesson plans for the student to follow. Daily and weekly progress checkpoints will be communicated to students. The teacher will be responsible for assessing the overall progress towards meeting mastery of course requirements.
Concordia Hanoi provides a dedicated support system to the family and the student. Working closely with the teacher, the parent (or other responsible adult) serves as a “Learning Coach” to their student to facilitate the child’s progress and monitor the pace and scheduling. While the teacher designs the lessons, the parent/learning coach partners and assists with the learning process and checks for understanding.
The parent/learning coach is involved in approximately 5-10% of the educational time as the parent serves an advisory role for the HS school student. In an advisory role, the parent/learning coach will guide student independence and hold the student accountable. The student will show independence in goal setting, self-directed learning, homework tasks, and projects.
PARENT/LEARNING COACH RESPONSIBILITIES
Establish routines and schedules.
- Set regular hours for your child’s school work.
- Keep normal bedtime routines.
- Schedule regular physical movement breaks.
- Establish device-free times.
Define the physical learning space for your child: Establish a space or location where your child will learn most of the time.
- Find a place that can be quiet and has a strong internet connection.
- Find a place where adults are present and can monitor activity.
- Create an organized area for school items.
Begin and end each day with a parent/child check-in: Start and end each day with a simple check in with your child. This brief contact point allows your child to plan and helps them organize and set their goals.
In the morning ask
- What are you learning today?
- What are your goals? How will you spend your time?
- What materials do you need?
In the evening ask
- What was your learning today?
- How did you spend your time?
- Did you meet your goals?
- What support do you still need?
- What questions do you have?
Monitor communication from the teacher and distance learning facilitator. High school students take on this role and monitor their communication.
- Check emails regularly
- Check postings on the website or learning platform each morning by 8 am.
- Open and read daily lesson plans each morning by 8 am.
Monitor how much time your child is spending online. Distance learning will require an eLearning experience for your child. Keep online activity for learning experiences. If in question, ask your child how the online activity is supporting their learning.
- Help your child find the right balance between online and offline learning experiences.
- Actively monitor your child when they are online.
- For the older students, set rules/guidelines for online social behavior.
The student learner will be an active participant in the learning process and cooperate with the parent/learning coach, distance learning facilitator and classroom teacher.
- Establish and maintain daily routines.Design a learning space and keep learning materials neat and organized.
- Be dressed and ready for the day by 7:45 AM.
- Actively participate in the parent/student check-ins.
- Be an active, curious learner and be proactive in learning.
- Complete assignments with integrity and academic honesty. Do your best work.
- Meet timelines, commitments, and due dates.
- Check for announcements and feedback from the distance learning facilitator and teacher.
- Follow the Concordia Hanoi Student Technology Use Agreement.